Modern Family. An interview with JLD Chair Bryan Scant.
Bryan Scant is a 3 year PQE Family Solicitor and Chair of the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England Wales which represents the views of 75,000+ members who include LPC students, LPC graduates, trainee solicitors and solicitors up to 5 years PQE. After graduating from Bournemouth University in 2010 Bryan studied the LPC at the College of Law in London. Bryan is a Solicitor at Lester Aldridge based in their Bournemouth office where he specialises in disputes involving children and matrimonial finances.
Tell us a bit about your role Bryan. As a family solicitor I represent clients in respect of family issues they may have. My work covers most aspects of family law, from representing someone who wants a divorce to those who want to have a pre-nuptial agreement prepared before they get married or are in a dispute about who their children should live with. It’s a rewarding job, though it can be tough at times. You are helping people who are going through an emotionally turbulent time in their life; one day they are perfectly ok and the next they can be more emotional when discussing matters.
What aspect of your professional life do you enjoy most? Concluding a matter positively for a client and seeing the change in them from when they first come to you, which is often when everything is most painful, to when the matter has ended and you see them happy to be moving on with their lives.
What has been the greatest achievement in your career so far? Being able to secure a training contract and then qualifying into family law at a time when there were so many cuts to legal aid for family matters, and also during the recession.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why? It was probably the fee earner I shared a room with when I was on my placement year at university. I watched how they conducted themselves with clients, how they managed files etc. and generally learnt a huge amount about what is expected of you as a solicitor. I had never worked in an office before, let alone a solicitor’s office, so it was a real learning curve watching them.
How did you secure a training contract? I undertook a sandwich degree which meant me working for a firm for a year during my degree. I learnt so much when I was there and was thankfully taken on as a trainee when I had completed my LPC.
What advice would you give to anyone qualifying this year? Don’t be disheartened by what you may see/hear/read about starting out as an NQ, it’s not that bad. It’s hard work and can be daunting, but once you get stuck into it you will be fine. Expect to be put through your paces and don’t think that just because you’re now a solicitor you know everything! I would also advise people to keep up to date with the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD). Many people think that because they are qualified there are no events etc. aimed at them, which isn’t the case. Some people feel quite isolated as an NQ, but there are so many other people out there who feel just the same and the JLD is a good way of keeping in touch with them.
Why family law? Were there any other options? I was offered a position in residential property but I had my heart set on family. There is something I find really rewarding about family work, I like that I am helping someone who has a problem, especially something like helping a parent re-instate contact with a child they haven’t seen for months, or fighting to allow someone to stay in their home after their divorce when the other party wants it sold.
When you’re not working as a Solicitor, what do you do outside of work to relax? I can often be found on Bournemouth beach or hurtling up and down the country in a classic mini with the other half visiting friends and family. I also spend a lot of weekends in London for the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers division for our conference, forums, meetings etc.
And finally, West End or Jurassic Coast? Both. West End for a Friday night out, Jurassic Coast for a Sunday walk!
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